The COVID-19 Pandemic and Non-COVID-19 Healthcare Utilization in Mexico
21 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2021 Last revised: 4 Oct 2021
Date Written: September 30, 2021
Objective: To analyze the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-COVID-19 healthcare utilization in Mexico, including oral health, mental health, communicable diseases, health check-up, chronic degenerative diseases, postpartum care, prenatal care, and family planning.
Methods: We use administrative data from Mexico’s Ministry of Health from 2018 to 2020. This data covers 14,299 consultation units and 775 hospitals from the 32 Mexican States, all of which are public institutions. We employ a difference-indifferences strategy and an event study to understand the dynamics of the effects throughout the pandemia.
Results: We observe a decrease in all healthcare services: oral health (98%), mental health (62%), communicable diseases (53%), health check-up (45%), chronic degenerative diseases (42%), postpartum care (39%), prenatal care (34%), and family planning (17%). Further, the event study indicates that health-check-up and family-planning visits follow a U-shaped trend, where these visits drop at the beginning of the pandemic and returning to pre-pandemic levels towards the end of our panel period. Visits for oral health, mental health, chronic degenerative diseases, prenatal care, and postpartum care also follow a U-shaped trend, although these do not return to pre-pandemic levels during our period of analysis.
Conclusions: The 2020 pandemic had detrimental effects on non-COVID-19 healthcare utilization. These interruptions in healthcare will likely have short and longterm impacts on morbidity and mortality. Programs intended to remediate these negative consequences may be of interest to policymakers.
Note: Funding: None to declare.
Declaration of Interests: None to declare.
Keywords: COVID-19; Healthcare utilization, Primary Care, Mental Health, Chronic Degenerative Diseases, Family Planning, Prenatal and Postpartum Care
JEL Classification: I12, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation